Jay Wilbur, Adrian Carmack, Bobby Prince, Kevin Cloud, John Carmack and John Romero in a fantastic picture from the archives of the Dallas News.

Carmack looks like he’ll beat you up while doing differential calculus, and Romero looks like someone’s aunt. Also notice the original Archvile, Spider Demon and Mancubus models by the window.

Jay Wilbur, Adrian Carmack, Bobby Prince, Kevin Cloud, John Carmack and John Romero in a fantastic picture from the archives of the Dallas News.

Carmack looks like he’ll beat you up while doing differential calculus, and Romero looks like someone’s aunt. Also notice the original Archvile, Spider Demon and Mancubus models by the window.

The jury is still out on whether this will be the game to kill Doom, but if the developers keep to only half of their promises, this will be a legendary title indeed.

Game Bytes Magazine, 1994

Two uncanny screenshots of Shadow Warrior from 1994, when 3D Realms was still Apogee and Ken Silverman’s BUILD engine was in its early stages. I love the sky texture in the first screenshot.

Errant Signal:

If Doom gives us a vision into the minds and interests of the people who made it, I think Quake gives us a vision into the time period that made it. A time period where 3D technology was nascent, shareware was slowly dying as a business model, and music genres like grunge and industrial were at their peak. And ultimately a period where the abstract, mechanics-driven shooters were dying off.

These days abstract worlds like those found in Quake can only be found in indie circles - your Kairo's and Antechambers. The days when a mainstream, wildly successful shooter could be a mood piece - and only a mood piece - died with Quake.

An smart and balanced retrospective. I like how it focuses on the game’s flaws as well as the things that make it unique - and the overlap between those two.

First impressions.


  To accommodate shading and dynamic lighting our 256-color palette exists in 16 rows of 16 colors that range from fully lit to nearly black. I’ll need a range for blood, a range for explosions, one for gray, and one range empty until the game is nearly complete. That empty range is used to solve color problems generated by the lighting.
  
  In the end, the majority of the textures must be built from the remaining ranges of 12 unique colors. If you don’t choose wisely, half way through the game you may find yourself with a palette that doesn’t offer enough range. At that point it’s too late to change.


Kevin Cloud of id Software, 1998 Gamasutra Interview

To accommodate shading and dynamic lighting our 256-color palette exists in 16 rows of 16 colors that range from fully lit to nearly black. I’ll need a range for blood, a range for explosions, one for gray, and one range empty until the game is nearly complete. That empty range is used to solve color problems generated by the lighting.

In the end, the majority of the textures must be built from the remaining ranges of 12 unique colors. If you don’t choose wisely, half way through the game you may find yourself with a palette that doesn’t offer enough range. At that point it’s too late to change.

Kevin Cloud of id Software, 1998 Gamasutra Interview

superactionfunboy:

The Classics! A sampling of My Quake 3 Character Skins

Masterful texturing work by Kenneth Scott.

superactionfunboy:

The Classics! A sampling of My Quake 3 Character Skins

Masterful texturing work by Kenneth Scott.

For Doom’s 20th anniversary: a really entertaining 90 minutes of John Romero playing co-op through Episode 1 with commentary.

Romero’s such a nice guy.

(Source: quakeguy)

baseq3/botfiles/bots/doom_t.c:


  "All roads lead to hell. Every last one of ‘em."
  
  "I was last once before, and a whole planet paid the price."
  
  "An endless row of graves… too many to put the names on."
  
  "I’m the last… I know I am. It’s over now."

baseq3/botfiles/bots/doom_t.c:

"All roads lead to hell. Every last one of ‘em."

"I was last once before, and a whole planet paid the price."

"An endless row of graves… too many to put the names on."

"I’m the last… I know I am. It’s over now."

On Friday, December 10th of 1993, it was finally Doom time. After working for thirty straight hours testing the game for bugs, id was ready to upload the game to the Internet. […]

The moment it did, ten thousand gamers swamped the site. The weight of their requests was too much. The University of Wisconsin’s computer network buckled. David Datta’s computer crashed.

"Oh my God," he stammered to Jay over the phone. "I’ve never seen anything like this."

Neither had the world.

David Kushner, Masters of Doom

Quake 3 Arena pre-release screenshots, 1999.

This is an incomplete, low-quality, but nonetheless pretty interesting recording of John Carmack’s keynote from Quakecon 2000.

He discusses the game console market vs the PC market, including speculation on the then-unannounced XBOX and the ways consoles might evolve to become more like PC’s and vice versa. Looking back over the past decade and comparing with Carmack’s thoughts and predictions, I am pretty impressed at how accurate his insights were. Also a fair amount of discussion on technical issues going from Quake 3 Arena to the new Doom game, which at that point had only just been announced, and a Q&A session with the audience.

I found this recording on an old external drive, and after some thorough searching I’m pretty sure this is the only copy now available on the web. The file was originally uploaded to the 3DDownloads.com archive, which has been offline for a number of years. If anyone would like to help me clean up the audio, let me know.

.mp3 at the Internet Archive

A not-very-informative but historically interesting PBS report on Apogee and id Software from 1992, right when the success of Wolfenstein 3D was propelling both companies to the top of the PC games industry.

It doesn’t get any more retro than this.

ROTT in Hell

Rise of the Triad is often overlooked in the pantheon of first-person shooters. Released in late 1994 by Apogee (before that company created the 3D Realms brand for its 3D action titles), it was originally intended as a sequel to Wolfenstein 3D but spun off into its own franchise early in development. The link title of this post leads to a lengthy but entertaining article about the game’s genesis and legacy, which I’d highly recommend reading if you’re into early Apogee and 3D Realms history.

ROTT has a curious aesthetic about it, both in its visual design and in the features of its 3D engine. Each level has its own fixed floor and ceiling heights, but the player can move vertically by stepping onto floating sprite-based platforms. Walls are all at 90-degree angles, showing their Wolf3D legacy, but there are all kinds of special objects and obstacles that make the world seem less angular and more dynamic. Some of the artwork seems lovingly pixel-painted, while other pieces (most notably enemies) are obviously palettized digital photos. It’s a mixed bag of strange combinations in general; obsoleted technology being enhanced with generous amounts of special effects (bullet decals, fog, dynamic lighting) and fun ideas (jump pads, Dog Mode). Oh, and lots and lots of gore.

The game was released in December of 1994, a full year after Doom put its enormous mark on the genre. Not long after its release, the hype machine for Quake would be set in motion. Apogee couldn’t have picked a worse time to market its fun-but-technically-outdated shooter, and it predictably got lost in the shuffle. Looking back at the game 17 years later though, I see a lot of fresh ideas in it that foreshadow the cool stuff that was to come in games like Duke Nukem 3D and Shadow Warrior. ROTT was behind the curve in many ways, but pretty well ahead of the curve in others.